Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Chasing money.

Well, it has come to this. The Tiki God of Money now sits on my desk.

When all else fails, go spiritual as my favorite Catholic nun, Sister Mary, used to say. 

But she was the one who would dance down the hallway singing "the hills are alive with music."

She lasted five years, last I heard she was a development executive.

Okay, just kidding about that last part. But she did leave the convent under murky circumstances.

But you never know who you know who might know someone important. I was going to a psychologist about 10 years ago for some counseling, trying to figure out a relationship with a woman who was "complicated".

Since I majored in psychology (but dropped out after getting a job in TV) I always like to say I learned just enough to tell everyone else what their problem is. Needless to say the therapy lasted a month, made easy by pouring a full shot of whiskey into my Starbucks coffee at an Italian restaurant below the office before I met the psychologist.

One time, as I began to feel I was ready to move on, I told her I also was without an agent and that also caused stress in this town, sort of like being without feet. You can't get around much. Then I had a thought and said this; "I assume that this being Hollywood, you could probably help me with that matter more than the "woman".

Without a pause, she said, dead serious : "Do you want me to make some calls?" 

I said, no, I really had some contacts but if it didn't work out (the agent not the woman), I'd be back. The woman worked out fine. We're still friends.

Back to Tiki, the god of Money. Brings success and good fortune.

Shirley got it for me on her recent trip to Hawaii. I think it was a not-too-subtle message to find the %*#@ money for Travel Day. Which looks a little harder every day that the plains of Manitoba get warmer.

Travel Day is still the primary goal as we still can shoot it as late as April in some parts of Manitoba, although a good hard snowfall is unlikely. I offer the word "late fall" as a possibility. Travel Day has been around for eight months and is losing it's freshness with investors coupled with the Manitoba guy, Dane, who isn't coming up with his end.

Enter Chaser.

Chaser is another screenplay I've been playing with. It falls into the genre that's hard to describe, sort of a little bit of Blair Witch Project, Open Water, Paranormal Activity and a few others, movies that really defy a true genre.

And movies that were made for anywhere from $15,000 to $250,000.

And there's a new movie out with Ryan Reynolds called Buried. The entire movie is filmed in a box where Reynolds is held as a hostage by some Middle eastern bad guys and we're right in there for the whole movie, apparently. Movie in a box.

Chaser was a story I had about memory, what we remember and what we think we remember and what we really remember. It comes from a word called Palimpsest which goes back to the Greeks use of papers made of various materials. One particular type was written on and then the words were erased or faded,allowing it to be used again.

This is what memory is to me; not necessarily remembering an event itself, but rather the memory of the event.

Imagine you're coming home one late afternoon after a hard day's work and you stop at a light and you watch people and cars and then notice a girl, 19, who is suddenly taken by a stranger and thrown into a van and it drives away.

What do you do? You can call the police, or follow him.

Or drive away.

Well, that's the premise of Chaser. It's about a man who has had a particularly hard day, someone who is beaten down by modern life, the recession, his relationships. And how he decides to do one good thing in his life.

But as he follows the van, his memory changes when he plays the abduction over in his mind. Was she abducted, or were they just playing, or was it something else.

Chaser can be made for very little money and it will find a market in people who like offbeat stories like that. And I know the perfect person for it.


Look at her demo reel in my material area and you'll see it's the perfect story for her.

So how do we find money for Chaser if I can't find all of it, so far, for Travel Day?

We make a trailer.

We get a few people together, some friends, and we film a 2-minute trailer in 2 or 3 days. For those who aren't sure, a trailer is a preview of a movie. Like the ones you see at the theater before the main show.

This isn't unique at all. Lots of people do this. In fact Jim Cameron made a 17 minute trailer for the Fox executives to show them what he wanted to do. So even he had to convince the investor that he could do it. Of course his trailer cost more than all the money I've earned the last few years.

But we can do ours for a lot less. A lot.

And hey, I just made $485 selling my buddy's wristwatch on ebay. 

The Tiki guy is working already.


  1. What a terrific post. Hilarious! I think I need one of those Tiki statues. Can I find one on Ebay?

  2. Mine is special, Shirley accidentally broke it's ear and glued it back on. I figure that he's got a little more humility thru that experience and will work harder to find money for Jimmy.